One of the repeated themes from the Conversion Conference last week in San Jose, was the importance of displaying your trust indicators prominently on your landing page.
Trust indicators are the visual clues you can use to let your site visitors see that you can be trusted. If your conversion involves some kind of financial transaction, you want to show that you have the highest levels of financial protection. If you’re collecting data, you want to demonstrate that your site is secure and your visitors’ data will be kept private. If you’re promising to deliver something, you want to express your commitment to service and punctuality.
In their New York Times bestselling book Trust Agents, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith write about the importance of trust as a commodity that can be shared, lent and borrowed. In addition to the kinds of security and integrity indicators, I mentioned above you should also borrow trust from your valued customers by adding their logos to your site. When your visitors see the logos of other trusted brands on your site they are most likely to trust you.
So far, so simple. Trust indicators have been tested on many sites and they have been shown to boost conversion in many cases.
As far as the authority borrowed from existing customers goes, I’m totally on board. As a consumer or a responsible buyer for a company, I can see why using the logos of big brand companies is a persuasive tool in convincing me to purchase. If it’s good enough for [fill in the name of a company you admire here] then it should be good enough for me. I get it.
But the security icons leave me a little cold. I’m a sophisticated browser. I feel confident about finding the results I want through search. I believe I can discern whether or not a company trying to sell me something is trustworthy or not based on the language they use and the images they present. I don’t believe that if any of those indicators gave me pause that it would be an image of a padlock that set me straight. I’m also not convinced that any symbol of security would help me overcome serious misgivings I might have about an online provider’s ability to deliver on its promises.
Leaving aside my personal prejudices, I still want to determine whether either of these kinds of trust icons have a place in conversion videos. Is there something more persuasive about animation with a voiceover which makes the flat representation of a security icon irrelevant? Should the corporate logos of your customers scroll through a video or should each one be animated as it would be on its own site? At what point does the “borrowed trust” of someone else’s logo become a distraction rather than a trust indicator and an aid to conversion?
Of course, I don’t have answers to all these questions right now. But you can be sure we will be running more tests with video trust indicators in the future.